Tom Briscoe very keen to keep Leeds Rhinos’ wing options in the family

KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY: Tom Briscoe is looking forward to playing alongside his brother Luke on a regular basis for Leeds Rhinos.'Picture: Bruce Rollinson
KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY: Tom Briscoe is looking forward to playing alongside his brother Luke on a regular basis for Leeds Rhinos.'Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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TOM BRISCOE always knew his brother Luke was good enough to play with him for Leeds Rhinos – he just needed chance to prove it.

The sibling wingers could line up together in 2019 after the club confirmed a three-year deal for Luke Briscoe last week.

STICKING AROUND: Leeds Rhinos.' Luke Briscoe.

STICKING AROUND: Leeds Rhinos.' Luke Briscoe.

He joined from Hull FC aged just 17 but only made three senior appearances and was released at the end of 2015.

However, Briscoe honed his skills at Featherstone Rovers including a remarkable try-scoring sequence for the Championship club last term.

Leeds re-signed him on loan in July after Ryan Hall’s season-ending injury and the 24-year-old duly scored five tries to help make the switch permanent.

With Rhinos legend Hall having now joined Sydney Roosters, Briscoe has the opportunity to nail down that left wing slot – with elder brother Tom having commanded the right side since joining from Hull at the end of 2013.

I always believed he was good enough. He just hadn’t had the opportunity. It would be great if he could regularly be on the other wing for Leeds now. Hopefully, he can do that,

Tom Briscoe

Briscoe, 28, said: “When Luke left, they said that it was with the knowledge of coming back.

“He needed to get some experience playing first-team as obviously, at that point, he was older and didn’t make the cut for the academy anymore.

“So to get that experience was crucial. Credit to him; he worked hard, got his head down at Fev and got what he deserves.

“I always believed he was good enough. He just hadn’t had the opportunity. It would be great if he could regularly be on the other wing for Leeds now. Hopefully, he can do that, push on in pre-season, impress the coaches and get a starting spot.”

Featherstone-born Briscoe added: “Our parents are proud and happy we’re back together and Luke has an opportunity to play in Super League again.

“There are big shoes to fill (Hall’s) as obviously Ryan’s left now but whoever steps into that just has to put that aside and crack on and we’ll be alright.”

The subject of reserve grade is back on the agenda with Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC the only Super League sides fielding such a team in 2019.

Ex-England international Briscoe, who started out at Hull, would favour reserve grade being made compulsory.

“You can see why teams want the dual-registration,” he said.

“But for me, having come through Academy (Under-18s) and Under-21s, I think there is more opportunity for those older guys – the 20s and 21s – to get that opportunity that you might not get with a dual-reg club.

“I’d imagine it’s harder slipping into another team whereas if everyone did have reserve-grade you’d be with your own side, developing your own skills. But it’s not up to me to decide that.”

Meanwhile, Rhinos players will help raise money for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, St George’s Crypt and St Gemma’s Hospice by spending a night sleeping under the stars at Headingley for the Leeds Big Sleep on Thursday.

Briscoe said: “It’s this time of year when people sleeping rough really need support so whatever we can do to raise awareness and a bit of money all the better.”